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Paul Blumenthal, “Congress Might Actually Do Something To Stop Itself From Sucking So Much,” Huffington Post:

“It’s hard to find agreement in the politically polarized environment of Washington, but there’s one thing on which members of both parties can agree: Congress sucks. It sucks to be a congressman. It sucks to be a congressional staffer. And it probably really sucks for their spouses, partners and children. New and old members alike have been speaking out of late.”

Scott Wong and Mike Lillis, “Hopes fade for bipartisan bills in age of confrontation,” The Hill:

“The current environment in Washington is such that the political incentives on both sides favor confrontation — not conciliation.”

Burgess Everett and Heather Caygle, “‘Feel like I’m going to strangle you’: Shutdown breaks Congress’ spirit,” Politico:

“A dismal mood has descended on Capitol Hill as the shutdown concludes its 27th day. The House speaker and the president are at war. A bipartisan Senate push to reopen the government failed for a second consecutive week. And no shutdown talks are even planned between party leaders.”

John Sides, “Many Americans say they want politicians to compromise. But maybe they don’t,” Washington Post:

“But here’s a further complication: The people most likely to say they want politicians to compromise are least likely to stomach whatever that compromise is.”

Melanie Zanona, “‘We’re not going to sit idly by’: Freshman Dems look to seize shutdown optics,” Politico:

“The start of the new Congress was supposed to be all about the historic freshman class. Instead, it’s been all about the historic government shutdown — and frustrated House Democrats are looking to change that.”

Peter Beinert, “Nancy Pelosi’s Winning Strategy,” The Atlantic:

“Democrats sometimes portray themselves as high-minded and naive—unwilling to play as rough as the GOP. Speaker Nancy Pelosi is, once again, proving that self-image wrong. She’s not only refusing Donald Trump’s demand for a border wall. She’s trying to cripple his presidency. And she may well succeed.”

Michael Tesler, “Opposing Trump is making Nancy Pelosi more popular,” Washington Post:

“Yet while Trump’s numbers are falling, Nancy Pelosi’s are rising. The first graph below shows that Pelosi’s favorability rating has increased by eight percentage points since Election Day in Civiqs’s tracking polls.”

Heather Caygle, Rachel Bade, and John Bresnahan, “Pelosi gets revenge against one of the Dem rebels,” Politico:

“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi exacted revenge against one of her most outspoken detractors Tuesday night, blocking Rep. Kathleen Rice from landing a seat on the high-profile House Judiciary Committee.”

Daniel R. DePetris, “Stop Complaining About Trump’s Emergency Powers, Congress,” Politico:

“Over-expanding executive power is a legitimate concern. But Congress can’t just blame Trump for this one. That’s because, for the pastfour decades, the legislative branch has been missing in action in our national debate over emergency executive powers.”

Editorial Board, “Forget Donald Trump. Congress can make a deal to end the shutdown,” Washington Post:

“The president — erratic, posturing, pandering and detail-averse — does not have the dealmaking chops to break the current deadlock with Democrats and reopen the government. That’s no excuse for Congress to sit on its hands. Instead of digging themselves deeper into their own trench of irreconciliation, why don’t lawmakers put a tough-minded deal on the president’s desk and force his hand?”

Lawrence Lessig, “The ‘Trump shutdown’ is also a failure of Congress – particularly Mitch McConnell,” The Hill:

“There is no way that McConnell believes that the Trump Shutdown is justified — either politically or morally. There is no way he believes that any “crisis” on the border will be addressed by a wall that Mexico will not pay for, and that the American people have overwhelmingly rejected. McConnell understands the nature of American constitutional government.”

Molly E. Reynolds, “Why McConnell is on the sidelines of a historically long government shutdown,” Brookings FixGov:

“As the president has become a central polarizing figure in American politics, however, it has been more difficult to convince legislators to assert congressional power on institutional grounds. This has consequences not just for abstract separation of powers questions, but also for the policy problems Congress must face on a daily basis—including how to end the ongoing government shutdown.”

Jay Cost, “Congress Is Not a Coequal Branch of Government — It’s Supreme,” National Review:

“The problem with this? Congress is not coequal. It is superior. The notion of coequality of the branches is a myth that has been popularized over the past half century, during the rise of the imperial presidency, as a way to boost the executive’s standing in the eyes of the public.”

Kate Irby and William Douglas, “Nasty or frugal? Key Democrats out to stop House members from living in offices,” McClatchy:

“Thompson said Congress needs to address the lodging situation by either raising lawmaker’s salaries — a politically unpopular move that’s unlikely — or finding other creative ways to make living outside their offices economically feasible.”

Katherine Tully-McManus, “House moves to protect federal interns from harassment and discrimination,” Roll Call:

“The bill would guarantee unpaid government interns receive the same protections against workplace harassment as federal employees.”

Theodoric Meyer, “Ex-lawmakers ‘scrambling and looking’ for lobbying gigs,” Politico:

“Former Republican congressmen are a dime a dozen right now,” said former Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), who left Congress a decade ago and is now a lobbyist for Holland & Knight. “I think there are still a lot of people who are scrambling and looking” for new jobs, he added.”

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Marian Currinder
Marian Currinder is a senior fellow with the R Street Institute’s Governance Project and editor of LegBranch.org. Marian previously served as senio...

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